My name is Bob Lovesky. I work for Ace Hardware Corporation out of Oakbrook, Illinois. We have stores all across the country and inside 70 countries abroad. I am the store operations manager responsible for people management.
It’s Saturday morning and you’re finally getting around to hanging all of those family photos you said you were going to do for three months. But you’re out of nails. And can’t find your hammer.
Chances are you end up at an Ace Hardware store to pick up what you need. With stores in more than 70 countries, and in cities across the United States, Ace is the store customers trust.
Bob Lovesky, Senior Operations Development Consultant at Ace Hardware, has learned a lot in his more than 14 years with the company. So what’s it like working on the inside at Ace? And how do they live up to their motto of being such a helpful place? We asked Bob for the inside scoop. Read on to find out.
How does Ace Hardware stay competitive?
Our competitive advantage is being local. All of our stores are locally owned, so the business owner lives in your neighborhood. Odds are he’s probably your neighbor and we service everywhere within a three-to-five-mile radius of the store. So anything you need that’s a representative of the area that you live in, odds are your local ACE hardware carries it.
How are you using mobile technologies to grow your business?
One of the things we do in-store operations is to look at how to help our stores be more efficient. Mobile is a big thing. All of our employees typically have a mobile device. So more and more of what we’re trying to do is streamline tasks and make them digital to access them on mobile. That’s a big initiative at ACE Hardware that’s going on and our department is heading that up.
What was your first hourly-paid job?
My first hourly job was a grocery bagger at Dominic’s Food Stores. I started on my 16th birthday because I wanted to start before that and they wouldn’t let me because it was a union. I worked there for two and a half years, bagging groceries and collecting carts. I worked harder for the managers that I respected. That treated me well. When I became a manager myself, I tried to embody that and act like the managers that I respected when I worked in retail.
What’s the best excuse you’ve heard for someone not coming into work?
The best excuse I ever heard was, ‘My mom said I can’t go to work today.’ For whatever reason, this person’s mom was adamant that he couldn’t go to work. And so he called me up and said, ‘My mom won’t let me go to work.’
If you had a store discount for any store besides your own, where would you want it to be?
It’s between Dick’s and Golf Galaxy, but Dick’s carries golf stuff. So, Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Be the manager you would have wanted
Hindsight is always 20-20. When you were at your first hourly-paid job, you wished you could have had a manager that treated you well, promoted flexible schedules, and gave you tools to make work easier. Now you can be that person. Sign up for a free trial of Deputy to see how you can be a (better) boss.